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The Alec Guiness Archive at the British Library

The British Library has acquired the personal archive of Sir Alec Guinness. The archive includes more than 900 of his letters to family and friends and over 100 volumes of diaries from the late 1930s to his death in the year 2000. The letters and diaries of the award winning British actor enrich the British Library's collection of archives of great 20th century artists along with those of Laurence Olivier, John Gielgud and Ralph Richardson.

The Alec Guiness Archive at the British Library will be open for research in 2014. Then the papers will be publicly available for the very first time. They offer an intimate account of Alec Guinness’s life, his wartime responsibilities and his conversion to Roman Catholicism in 1956, as well as Guiness' successful stage and screen career. Highlights include a letter to his wife written during the opening night of the 1938 Old Vic season, which marks the beginning of Guiness' career, and a diary entry following the death of Laurence Olivier in which Guinness reflects on Olivier’s acting technique and contribution to the stage.

In the press

>>> Alec Guinness archive at British Library (The Telegraph)

>>> Alec Guinness personal letters and diaries acquired by British Library (The Guardian)

>>> Diaries of Sir Alec Guinness bought by the British Library (The Independent)

>>> Sir Alec Guinness wrote of Sir Laurence Olivier's 'cruelty' in his diaries (The Australian)

Published since 14 Feb 2013